The Unabomber snubs Ishi Press by making a book deal with a rival publisher

February 11, 1999

Unabomber Lands a Book Deal

By The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Unabomber Theodore J. Kaczynski has landed a book deal to tell his story and will give the proceeds to his victims' families, the publisher said Thursday.

"Truth Versus Lies" will be "an attempt to tell the other side of a one-sided tale that was spun by his family and his attorneys in their attempt to save him from the death penalty," said Beau Friedlander, publisher of Context Media.

Kaczynski is serving a life sentence for 16 bomb attacks that killed three people and wounded 29. He pleaded guilty last year in Sacramento, Calif., to avoid the death penalty.
Theodore Kaczynski

As part of that deal, he also agreed to turn over any future earnings to the victims' families.

After Kaczynski tried unsuccessfully last year to pitch a book to more established New York publishers, including Simon & Schuster, Friedlander wrote to the former mathematics professor in prison and expressed interest in publishing the book. He said he received a 548-page manuscript from Kaczynski last fall and plans to publish the book in late May or June.

The publisher declined to release an advance copy, saying he is still shopping it around for possible serialization by a magazine or newspaper.

Kaczynski previously wrote a 35,000-word anti-technology manifesto that was published by The Washington Post and The New York Times in 1995. His brother, David, noticed similarities to Kaczynski's writings and turned him in.

David Kaczynski got a $1 million government reward and has set up a fund to distribute about $500,000 to victims of crimes committed by people like his brother who are paranoid schizophrenics.

Friedlander said Kaczynski "is earnest about discovering his brother's true motivations for turning him over to the FBI. Kaczynski spares no details, even when they show him in a less favorable light."

Context Media also is releasing a book this spring by Michael Mello, a Vermont law professor who has exchanged letters with Kaczynski since July.

Kaczynski believes he was unfairly coerced into pleading guilty and has hired a new lawyer to help him win a second trial, according to Mello.

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